The Greening Of Patagonia

THERE is a fat, goateed man in a leather jacket standing far too close to a Magellanic penguin. He is giggling nervously – the man, not the penguin – and slowly extending a finger towards the animal’s soft white belly. Surely, I am thinking, he is not actually going to poke this poor bird, which has just swum thousands of miles from the Antarctic to join its colony here at Punta Tombo, a thin, chilly strand of Patagonian desert on the coastal edge of Argentina.

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